Mushroom Soup and My Sisters

Let me tell you about the hardest part of living in a different country.

After eight years of living in the US, there is still one thing that I have not, can not, will never, get over: It is not being able to spend as much time as I want with my sisters. Not spending time with my sisters means not being able to experience things with them. Like not being able to share a slice of cheesecake. Not being able to make avocado shakes together. Not huddling together in the back seat of a car, with inconspicuous tickles.

It means enjoying mushroom soup by myself, even though I know that it would be so much more enjoyable if my two sisters, the apples of my eye, were eating it, too.

We all like mushroom soup. From Campbell’s cream of mushroom to the fancy bowls at our favorite Italian restaurant in the Philippines, it’s something that the three of us never say no to whenever a bowl is set in front of us. So when I eat mushroom soup in the US, thousands of miles away from my sisters, I think of them and I miss them.

I know, it’s a life I chose. And mostly, usually, tremendously, it’s a life I am so grateful for. But in spite of my idyllic work and daily activities and vacations and love fests, there are days where I miss my two sisters so palpably that I wish there really was some sort of magic travel machine that I could hop on and then I would be home with them in the Philippines, instantly. And then the three of us can all eat mushroom soup together.

But alas, that magic travel machine doesn’t exist, so I will have to wait two more months until I see their sweet faces again when I go home for the holidays. In the meantime, there’s FaceTime and Skype. And there’s mushroom soup. Mushroom soup that’s meant to be shared, but even when eaten alone, is comfort enough.

The original recipe for this soup included pureed potatoes but I decided to substitute cannellini beans instead. I like the added protein and I know that it would still blend into a creamy consistency. This is a pretty healthy recipe, too; there’s milk instead of cream, Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, and white beans instead of white potatoes.

Creamy Mushroom Soup


2 tablespoons butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 1/2 pounds assorted mushrooms, chopped (I used baby bella and white mushrooms)
1 shallot, chopped
1/2 cup chopped chives
1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans
3 cups vegetable broth
1 1/4 cups 2 percent milk
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt


  1. In a large saucepan or pot (I used a dutch oven), melt 1 piece butter over medium-high heat. Add one-third of the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl. Repeat in 2 batches with 2 more pieces of butter and the remaining mushrooms.
  2. Add the remaining 1 piece butter, the onion and all but 2 tablespoons of the chives to the pot and cook, stirring, until golden-brown and tender, about 7 minutes. Return the mushrooms to the pot, add the drained cannellini beans, vegetable broth and 1 cup water and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Using a blender, puree the soup and transfer to dutch oven. Stir in the milk and season with salt. Heat through over medium heat. To serve, top with the yogurt and reserved chives.

*It's important to brown the mushroom properly - in batches - because this will lend a deep, earthy quality to the soup.

Do you have a certain food that reminds you of your siblings?

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 1/2 pounds assorted mushrooms, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced
  • 1 4 ounce baking potato
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/4 cups 2 percent milk
  • 1/4 cup plain nonfat greek yogurt

47 Responses to “Mushroom Soup and My Sisters”

  1. #
    Claire @ Live and Love to Eat posted October 10, 2012 at 8:12 am

    This looks so delicious, and sounds healthy – way better than anything out of a can!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted October 11, 2012 at 9:39 am

      Thanks, Claire. I like how it tasted decadent, too – which isn’t very common with other healthy recipes!

  2. #
    Meghan posted October 10, 2012 at 9:10 am

    This looks like a nice bowl of comfort. My sister is only 5 hours away, but I always miss her.

  3. #
    Samantha Angela posted October 10, 2012 at 10:00 am

    I’m really excited because my sister who lives about a 6 hour drive away is moving back to our hometown, where I live now. It’s been a few years since she moved away and luckily we see each other often and talk on the phone regularly, but you’re right, it’s so much different than living close by.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted October 11, 2012 at 9:40 am

      I’m glad she’s moving back to your hometown, you guys are lucky :)

  4. #
    Megan posted October 10, 2012 at 10:57 am

    I can relate! One of my sisters just moved to Pennsylvania, and we’re really close — it just makes the time you spend together more precious!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted October 11, 2012 at 9:40 am

      Yes, definitely! Absence does make the heart grow fonder :)

  5. #
    Molly posted October 10, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Both of my sisters live in the DC suburbs, so we have this constant fantasy about Rich and myself both finding jobs down there and all of us being together. Sigh. I totally get it.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted October 11, 2012 at 9:40 am

      Thanks, Molly. DC sounds nice ;)

  6. #
    Michelle Collins posted October 10, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    What a sweet post! My sisters have complete opposite tastes when it comes to food, so there’s not one particular dish that reminds me of them. However, I always miss them – even though they’re both less than 2 hours away.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted October 11, 2012 at 9:42 am

      Thanks, Michelle! Sometimes (actually, most of the time) we all have completely different tastes in food, too – but when we agree on something, we get kind of obsessed with it haha

  7. #
    Daisy posted October 10, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    this is a sweet post. I can imagine you miss your sisters tremendously. I have always been fortunate enough to live near my sister. Sushi always reminds me of her, we have lots of sushi dates.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted October 11, 2012 at 9:42 am

      Thanks, Daisy :) I haven’t met your sister but I feel like I know her a little bit, too, because of your blog! Sushi dates sound awesome.

  8. #
    CCU posted October 10, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    Awww you and your sisters sound bonded my friend, beautiful :)

    Choc Chip Uru

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted October 11, 2012 at 9:43 am

      Thank you! We all like chocolate chip cookies, too ;)

  9. #
    Renee {Eat.Live.Blog} posted October 10, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    High Tea is what reminds me of my sister…well, really any food in general. We always eat when we are together! This soup looks great! Sadly, one of the things I gave up for my fiance is mushrooms…and I mostly miss them in the form of mushroom soup!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted October 11, 2012 at 9:44 am

      Thanks, Renee. I remember meeting your sister (at the Om brunch) and I can see how great you guys get along and enjoy food together!

  10. #
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet posted October 10, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    I can’t imagine living in a different country from my sister… that must be so hard. It is great that you are able to plan visits to see them, though.

    This soup sounds delicious, I love that it is a healthier creamy soup.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted October 11, 2012 at 9:44 am

      Thanks, Lauren. And because it’s healthier, we can have more dessert, right? ;)

  11. #
    Simply Life posted October 10, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    oh what a sweet post. I’d love to hear more about your family and how life has been living a country apart!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted October 11, 2012 at 9:45 am

      Thank you! It’s definitely been challenging at times, but it also makes me appreciate our times together even more!

  12. #
    OliePants posted October 11, 2012 at 12:18 am

    I love this post. It almost made me miss my sister until she called me to dump her thoughts on me. :) I’m sorry you don’t get to see them often but I’m glad you have a common thread to help feel close to them. :)

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted October 11, 2012 at 9:46 am

      Thanks, Susan. Food is really special that way :)

  13. #
    Sues posted October 11, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Aw, I can’t imagine being far from my sister (we live 2 miles from each other), so I can see how it must be so hard for you! It’s so nice to have these little connections and fun memories. Can you all make mushroom soup and Skype together?? :)

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted October 11, 2012 at 9:48 am

      We sometimes Skype while they are eating breakfast and I’m eating dinner! The 12 hour time difference makes it fun heehee

  14. #
    grace posted October 11, 2012 at 10:24 am

    aw, sweet post! i always wanted a sister. i got two brothers instead. :)

  15. #
    Colleen @ Culinary Colleen posted October 11, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    I sadly don’t have any siblings, but I wish I did! It must be hard being so far away from yours.

  16. #
    Shannon posted October 11, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    no sibling here, but i definitely have certain foods that remind me of certain people! this soup sounds absolutely wonderful :)

  17. #
    sally @ sallys baking addiction posted October 11, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    if i lived far away from my sisters, I would be heartbroken! So many hugs to you my dear. If I lived in a different country than my sisters, I would have these same feelings when I ate homemade caramel corn. We make it together every year during the holidays. I LOVE this mushroom soup though – it looks amazing and I can bet how lovely it makes the kitchen smell!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted October 12, 2012 at 5:36 pm

      Thank you, Sally. Homemade caramel corn sounds wonderful!

  18. #
    Joanne posted October 11, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    For some reason I really thought your sisters lived in the US too! Wow I can’t even imagine how hard that is. But I’m sure they know how much you love them! And at least you can make the foods you all love and can remember them while you eat them!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted October 12, 2012 at 5:36 pm

      They used to, then they moved back to the Phils! :)

  19. #
    Katerina posted October 12, 2012 at 7:11 am

    It is hard to be away from your siblings! Luckily techology has given us the chance to be able to communicate and even see the faces of our loved ones even if we live far away from them! I love mushroom soup too and this one is right up my alley!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted October 12, 2012 at 5:37 pm

      Yes, even just five years ago it was very different (I only used international phone cards). Have a great weekend ahead!

  20. #
    Erica @ In and Around Town posted October 12, 2012 at 9:33 am

    BBQ reminds me of my brother now (he lives in NC) so not nearly as far away, but still a plane ride. I love when we finally get to spend a bit of time together!

  21. #
    Amy (Savory Moments) posted October 12, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    What a lovely post about your sisters. This mushroom soups looks wonderful. Creamy, earthy, and delicious!

  22. #
    TheDrunkenPig posted October 13, 2012 at 7:12 am

    That is one tasty looking mushroom soup! Thanks for sharing the recipe. I am sure my family will love it!

  23. #
    Rhonda posted October 13, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    I moved across the country 16 years ago and I miss my sister every day, I know how you feel. But at least we are fortunate to have the internet now to stay a little closer. This soup looks delicious.

  24. #
    Jen L | Tartine and Apron Strings posted October 15, 2012 at 1:32 am

    Bianca, awww…you just made me teary eye when you told the story of your sisters! Although I have not experienced separation from my family or siblings, I can somewhat relate to what you are saying. I miss my cousins and girl friends (who are like my sisters) in the Philippines. I can imagine how it is for you. And when I think of my own kids (I have 3), I wonder if they’ll one day be separated from each other or if they’ll live in different cities or if they’ll call each other…sigh…

    Anyway, mushroom soup cheers up always! I love them!

  25. #
    Ranjani posted October 15, 2012 at 9:15 am

    I’ve always lived pretty close to my sister but she just moved to California, so that has been an adjustment. Your soup looks delicious and I hope you get to eat it with your sisters sometime soon!

  26. #
    Heather posted October 17, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    Definitely going to have to try this, I always love a good mushroom soup. Maybe I’ll add some barley into the finished product to see if it would be a good sub for my beloved Mushroom Barley soup from a restaurant in Chicago.

  27. #
    Tandy posted October 18, 2012 at 1:55 am

    I love the bean replacement in this recipe! My sister also lives away from me, and as the time zones are so different we very seldom get to skype.

  28. #
    Sherwin posted October 19, 2012 at 12:32 am

    I totally get this feeling. I miss my siblings too back in the Philippines. We would always go out for midnight snacks and grab a bowl of hot and sour soup and shrimp rice rolls at a Chinese resto!

    Miss you B!

  29. #
    Dana posted October 29, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Looks so delicious!! I bet your sisters would love this soup… I know I would!

  30. #
    Sarah Shanahan posted November 15, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    I made this soup today and it was just delicious. Your friend, Rowena, introduced me to your blog. I work for her at Keyks in Chelmsford. Thanks for the awesome recipe :)

  31. #
    Leng posted February 17, 2014 at 11:56 am

    This looks awesome, Biancs. Can I use skimmed milk too?

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted February 17, 2014 at 12:28 pm

      Hi, Leng! Yup that would work, too :)

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